Paul Tuthill

Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston.  He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester.  Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011.  Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.

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WAMC

Flower shows are a popular way to escape the winter blahs, especially this year with the snowpack so slow to melt.  The flower show at Mount Holyoke College has been a campus and community fixture for more than half a century.

On the last full day of winter, Sherry Edelstein drove down from Keene, New Hampshire to visit the flower show at the Talcott Greenhouse on the Mount Holyoke campus in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

" I am just starved for color and warmth and spring and beautiful flowers and the smell of the earth. I am just in rapture here," she said.

WAMC

A city in western Massachusetts is launching a unique program to encourage landlords to live in the multi-family homes they purchase.

 The buyer of a three-family home in one of three designated neighborhoods in the city of Chicopee could receive $16,000 from the city towards the down payment.  The catch?  They must agree to live in one of the apartments of that house.

Michael Gordon, Springfield Republican-Masslive

Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito today visited Northampton to talk with local officials about the commitment the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker is making to the state’s cities and towns.

Polito said the administration is working to develop specific “community compacts” with local governments that will be used as a guide when awarding state grants to fund local projects.

" The idea of the compact is to make sure we are spreading state funds throughout  our commonwealth and the money does not just land in Boston," she said.

Anti-poverty activists in western Massachusetts today are launching a living wage campaign in Springfield.  A public event to explain the effort begins at 4 pm at the Springfield Central Library.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Kitty Callaghan, a founding member of  Living Wage Western Massachusetts.

WAMC

Public health advocates today marked 20 years of activism in Springfield, Massachusetts by promoting an initiative to dramatically improve the overall health of the city’s population.

 Public health professionals want to reduce infant mortality, obesity, asthma, heart disease, and other largely preventable health problems in Springfield in a span of just one generation. The “Healthiest Springfield 2030” program is part of a national effort to make the United States the healthiest country in the world in 15 years.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities has told power companies to warn customers they could be hit with retroactive rate hikes by switching electricity suppliers.

An obscure 15-year old regulation that allows utility companies to retroactively raise rates for customers who change electricity suppliers in order to lower their energy bills has come under fire from elected officials and consumer advocates. 

State Representative Jose Tosado of Springfield and other area legislators have called on the DPU to repeal the regulation.

Early signs point to a crowded field of candidates this year for mayor in Springfield, Massachusetts.

A total of seven people took out nomination papers for mayor in the first few days the forms became available.  Among them is three-term incumbent Domenic Sarno, former small business owner Sal Circosta, youth worker Johnnie Ray McKnight, and long time community organizer Michaelann  Bewsee. 

Election Commissioner Gladys Oyola said taking out nomination papers is not the same as being a serious candidate.

wikipedia.org

The honeymoon may be ending between Beacon Hill Democrats and Massachusetts Republican Governor Charlie Baker.

Opposition is mounting in the legislature to Baker’s plan to end the state’s film tax credit, according to the Boston Globe.   

Baker proposes to phase out the tax credit for movie productions to help fund a doubling of the earned income tax credit for low-wage workers, which he said would boost the state’s economy by $100 million.

WAMC

A regional substance abuse treatment center that is being forced from its long time location by construction of the MGM Springfield casino may have found a temporary home in the city of Chicopee. 

A top aid to Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos confirmed Friday that talks are underway to place the Western Massachusetts Correctional Alcohol Center in a motel that is currently being used by the state as an emergency shelter for homeless families. 

Boston2024

The group behind the bid to bring the Olympics to Boston is hosting a public meeting Thursday night in western Massachusetts.

Boston2024 is holding a community meeting at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield starting at 6:30 pm to give people a chance to ask questions and offer suggestions about the Olympic bid.   

Political consultant Tony Cignolli said there is skepticism about the Olympics because of the Big Dig, the Boston project that picked the pockets of western Massachusetts taxpayers.

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